Rab4 and Rab11 coordinately regulate the recycling of angiotensin II type I receptor as demonstrated by fluorescence resonance energy transfer microscopy

J Biomed Opt. 2008 May-Jun;13(3):031206. doi: 10.1117/1.2943286.


The recycling of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) to the cell surface after internalization plays an important role in the regulation of overall GPCR activity. The angiotensin II type I receptor (AT1R) belongs to class B GPCRs that recycle slowly back to the cell surface. Previous studies have proposed that Rab11 controls the recycling of AT1R; however, recent reports show that Rab4, a rapid recycling regulator, co-localizes also with internalized AT1R. Different from the subcellular co-localization provided by fluorescence microscopy, fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) microscopy provided the spatial relationship of AT1R with Rab4 and Rab11 in the nanometer-range proximity during the entire course of AT1R recycling. During the early recycling stage, internalized AT1Rs were mainly associated with Rab4 in the cytoplasm. During the mid-recycling stage, AT1Rs were associated with both Rab4 and Rab11 in the perinuclear compartments. However, during the late-recycling stage, AT1Rs were mainly associated with Rab11, both in the perinuclear compartments and the plasma membrane. Co-immunoprecipitation data confirmed these dynamic associations, which were disrupted by silencing of either the Rab4 or Rab11 gene. Based on these observations, we propose a Rab4 and Rab11 coordinated model for AT1R recycling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line
  • Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer / methods*
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Kidney / metabolism*
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence / methods*
  • Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1 / metabolism*
  • rab4 GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism*


  • Receptor, Angiotensin, Type 1
  • Wdr44 protein, rat
  • GTP-Binding Proteins
  • rab4 GTP-Binding Proteins